This weekend marks the annual National Medal of Honor Day to recognize the men and women given the highest military honor awarded by Congress.
It is the 151th anniversary of the establishment of the Medal of Honor, which President Abraham Lincoln signed into law in 1861. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
This week, 16 of the 82 living recipients were at Arlington National Cemetery’s wreath-laying to recognize Medal of Honor recipients
“These men exemplify the ideals of courage, patriotism and service by distingushing themselves during the chaos of battle,” says David McIntyre, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
“We would just like for you to know that we didn’t do our country any honors by our service,” says Patrick Brady, a Medal of Honor recipient. “God did us a favor by allowing us to be born in this country.”
In recognition of National Medal of Honor Day, Arlington National Cemetery is hosting a special guided tour on Sunday, focusing on Medal of Honor recipients buried there and the history of the Medal of Honor.
On Friday, March 23, 2012 at 2:15 p.m. was the Medal of Honor Day Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns and at 2:30 p.m. was the Citizen Service Before Self Honors Ceremony.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation hosted its fifth annual Citizen Service Before Self Honors ceremony to recognize nationally and honor three recipients: James McCormick of New Haven, W.Va.; Montel Mixon of Saint Paul, Minn.; and, Brandon Wemhoff of Lincoln, Neb. The recipients represent the values of courage, sacrifice and selfless service. At the ceremony, the Foundation presented the American Spirit Award to Spencer Zimmerman, a 15-year-old Boy Scout from Phoenix, Ariz. for his extraordinary initiative and selflessness.
On Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. is a Medal of Honor Walking Tour
In recognition of National Medal of Honor Day, Arlington National Cemetery is conducting a special guided walking tour of Arlington National Cemetery focusing on Medal of Honor recipients buried at Arlington, as well as the history of the Medal of Honor. Tom Sherlock, Arlington National Cemetery historian, and Timothy Frank, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command, will narrate the tour. Frank was a contract historian for the Medal of Honor Society from 2002 to 2004, and had the opportunity to interview 60 Medal of Honor recipients. The tour is full, but a list of Medal of Honor Recipients buried or memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery is available to honor, remember and explore our nation’s most honored heroes.